Nichol, James W. 1940-
NICHOL, James W. 1940-
PERSONAL: Born 1940, in Canada.
ADDRESSES: Home—Ontario, Canada. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Alfred A. Knopf, 1745 Broadway, New York, NY 10019.
CAREER: Playwright and novelist.
AWARDS, HONORS: Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel, Crime Writers of Canada, 2003, for Midnight Cab.
Sweet Home Sweet (two-act), produced by Playwrights Studio in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1965.
Tub (one-act), produced in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, 1969), Playwrights Co-op (Toronto), 1972.
The Book of Solomon Spring (two-act), produced by Factory Theatre Lab in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1972.
The House on Chestnut Street (produced in Calgary, Alberta, Canada), 1972), Macmillan (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1972.
Sainte-Marie among the Hurons: A Play (produced in London, Ontario, Canada), 1974), Playwrights Co-op (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1977.
Gwendoline (two-act; produced in Blyth, Ontario, Canada, 1978), Playwrights Co-op (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1978.
Child (produced in Blyth, Ontario, Canada, 1979), Playwrights Co-op (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1979.
Sonny, Playwrights Canada Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 1982.
The Stone Angel, Playwrights Canada Press (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Midnight Cab (mystery novel), Knopf (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), 2002.
Also author of radio series for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
SIDELIGHTS: Acclaimed Canadian playwright James W. Nichol has been creating works for the stage since the 1960s. In 2002 he tried his hand at fiction with the publication of his first novel, Midnight Cab. The story is based on a popular thirty-five-episode radio drama that Nichol composed for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Midnight Cab follows the lives of two seemingly disparate characters. One is nineteen-year-old Walter Devereaux, abandoned by his mother at the age of three. Walter has only scant clues to direct him on his search to establish his roots: only a single letter written to his mother from a school-aged friend, and a picture of the two girls together. His investigations take him to the city of Toronto, where it becomes obvious that someone does not want him to learn the truth about his past. Midnight Cab also follows psychopath Bobby Nuremborski, who eventually crosses paths with Walter. The novel earned Nichol the 2003 Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel.
Harriet Klausner wrote in a review for MBR Bookwatch that "Midnight Cab is a solid suspense thriller starring two delightful lead protagonists whose banter lightens a dark tale." A reviewer for Publishers Weekly called the book "quick and playful," adding that "this light, engaging first novel … is a coming-of-age story steeped in mystery." A Kirkus Reviews contributor described Midnight Cab as "a highly effective thriller that freshens familiar scenes, dodges, and themes by fleshing them out with an appealingly new cast," while Joanne Wilkinson concluded in Booklist that "Nichol has a genuine gift for both language and plotting."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, November 15, 2004, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Midnight Cab, p. 557.
Globe and Mail (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), June 4, 2003, "James Nichol Wins Crime Award."
Kirkus Reviews, October 1, 2004, review of Midnight Cab, p. 934.
MBR Bookwatch, February, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of Midnight Cab.
Publishers Weekly, November 22, 2004, review of Midnight Cab, p. 38.